Thanks to the proliferation of Covid 19 and its subsequent variants, life in our country and around the world has gotten a lot more difficult. People plan their moves and activities much more carefully now in order to hopefully avoid contracting Covid 19, and what used to be activities taken for granted suddenly take on added weight, where we fully examine the consequences and risks of taking them on. If you are planning a cross country move in 2022, the reality is that Covid is most likely here to stay, at least to some degree, and it is important to do your moving and planning with that in mind.
Planning For Your Move
The good news is that in most states, moving companies are considered essential businesses and are not likely to be shut down or out of action in the event of future surges or lockdowns. A good many of them have adjusted their procedures accordingly in order to minimize and risks to their employees and clients. A simple phone call or email will let you know if the company you are considering for your cross-country move is doing what they should with regard to mask wearing, social distancing, and screening their employees on a regular basis to greatly reduce the chance for any infectious spread.
Many companies have also introduced contactless services, eliminating the need for most face-to-face interactions. Most now offer virtual surveys instead of in-home estimates in order to determine a price for your moving project.
Most storage companies also continue to operate during Covid, although you may be looking at decreased hours of operations, as well as different requirements for being on the property, such as a reduction in the amount of people who can access units at any one time.
Do not hesitate to ask your moving company directly about their Covid policies. Reputable companies will be only too happy to answer as many questions as you have. After all, it is their reputation that is ultimately on the line here.
Among the protocols established within the moving industry:
- To follow local and federal guidelines as far as social distancing and sanitization.
- Frequent deep cleaning of trucks and equipment.
- Social distancing with customers and within the moving team
- Wearing masks, gloves, and other protective gear.
- Keeping offices and trucks well stocked with hand sanitizer.
If you need to cancel a move due to circumstances regarding Covid, you should contact your moving provider as soon as possible. Most moving contracts are non-binding, which allows you to cancel a move up to a certain time frame without any financial penalties. Many companies are more lenient on supposed “nonrefundable deposits” due to the unusual circumstances often surrounding Covid 19.
Prepping For the Move
Purchase all of your supplies at once. You want to avoid running back and forth to the store or supply company, as doing so increases the chances for infection.
Clean as you pack. Use the packing process to wipe down and disinfect as many items as possible. If you forgot to purchase disinfectant, you can make your own by mixing one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water and voila, instant cleaning solution.
If your move is imminent and you find yourself not feeling well, you should, again, notify your moving provider. This allows them to know the potential risk to their employees so they can make any alterations to their Covid protocols that may be needed. Similarly, let your moving provider know if there is any chance anyone in your family has been exposed to Covid.
If you are feeling fine and no one has tested positive for the virus, maintain that status by wearing a mask and gloves when packing, and sanitizing any items that your movers will be handling directly. Try to be completely packed up no less than 24 hours before the movers arrive, store materials in a closed room (as the virus can survive on surfaces for several hours), and once the movers arrive, stay out of everyone’s space (social distancing). Continue wearing a mask and gloves. Provide hygiene products for your movers such as hand sanitizer, soap, paper towels and disinfectant at every entrance and exit.
Do not use free or recycled moving boxes as Covid can live on cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours. With that in mind, grabbing free boxes from the shop down the street may not be the best course. Boxes and boxing materials are inexpensive and purchased at your local home improvement store.
For your own safety on the road during this process, you will want to look into disposable gloves for small transactions such as getting fuel. Have a supply of masks handy for when you have to be in social situations, and keep plenty of hand sanitizer within reach, washing your hands whenever possible. While most of us want to keep our vehicles clean, do not overdo wiping down every exposed surface in your vehicle, as this is not how Covid is spread.
Yes, you can move during the pandemic, should it stretch into 2022, and you can do so safely, as long as you follow some simple common-sense recommendations.
If there is anything good that comes out of a hundred-year pandemic, it means that protocols such as social distancing and deep cleaning also mean more time to go through your possessions and determine what needs to be kept and what needs to be discarded. If you choose to donate items, contact those businesses and again, find out what their Covid policies are. Donations may mean jumping through a few more hoops, but with the new normal we find ourselves in, it is necessary and worth it.
Think safety. These are precarious and uncertain times, but with a little judicious planning and preparation, there is no reason that your cross-country move cannot happen as planned and on schedule in 2022.